I more excited about my new GTI than any new car I have bought since my RX-8 back in 2005. I have never owned a German car, I have never owned a turbo, and I haven’t had a hatchback since I sold my 87 Integra back in 98 or 99.

I have always loved Japanese cars, since my first Celica at 16 years old. My cars since then go: Toyota, Olds (vomit), Acura, Acura, Nissan, Ford, Mazda, Infiniti, Infiniti, VW. My projects? Toyota, Toyota, Ford. In our 20 years together, I have bought Mrs. IM (who rules for supporting this purchase) a Lexus, a Toyota, and an Infiniti. I bought my son a Subaru, the VW of Japan.

Can I be in your club, German car guys? Will you teach me the ropes? To be honest, I think I am not really cool enough to hang with you Bimmer dudes, and I don’t really get the parking thing. But you guys aren’t the tire burning asshats that wrecked cars & coffee, so we can hang. That was the Porsche guys, and I KNOW I am not cool enough for those bros.

But you Volkswagen peeps always seemed fun. Weird, and a little confusing, but fun. Every Jetta I saw in the 90s was a rolling turd, and the Bug was never my bag, so I kept my distance. But I saw a few goofy dads there in the back behind the young guys who were saying something I didn’t understand about performance mods. I feel like there might be a place for me in that corner of car culture.

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Now let’s take a moment to pause and examine Pumpkin’s reaction to Toby’s appearance and morning hello.

Yeah, he is going to need to work on that. Pumpkin does not approve of his kisses.

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Japanese car people, can I still be one of you? You know I still love you. I still have 4 Japanese cars, the majority of my fleet. 2 Toyotas, a Subie, and an Infiniti reflects broad support for Japan’s Auto industry. But I can branch out a little, no? I mean, lookit how fun this is. Germany is not humorless, gray efficiency-land. Ok, it’s gray. But it’s fun!

After all, WWII would have been an entirely different experience if the Axis had been VW-Toyota-Vespa instead of those other guys. Those guys were no fun at all.